North America

Trumpcare Is Dead. “Single Payer Is the Only Real Answer,” Says Medicare Architect.

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Thanks to a pair of defections from more GOP senators late yesterday, the Republican plan to repeal and replace or simply repeal the Affordable Care Act is dead — for now. Zaid Jilani The Intercept But the health care status quo is far from popular, with 57 percent of Americans telling Gallup pollsters in March that they “personally worry” a “great deal” about health care costs. Many health care activists are now pushing to adopt what is called a “single… ... Read More »

The Summer of Misreading Thucydides

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There’s a delicious irony in the Trump team’s affection for the historian—who repeatedly shows how populists lead societies to… Kori Schake The Atlantic This year is the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love,” those months in 1967 when a hundred thousand hippies convened in Haight… Flower children held a Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park, and Timothy Leary coined the phrase “turn on, tune in, drop… It was the heyday of the counterculture, now enjoying… The Summer of… Read More »

US calls for smaller deficits in new NAFTA talks

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The US government says trade deficits and market access will top the agenda as it renegotiated trade terms with Mexico and Canada. BBC US President Donald Trump has described the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a “disaster” and ordered fresh talks earlier this year. The objectives have been released in advance of the start of meetings with Canada and Mexico next month. Economists have warned that reaching the goals might be… US calls for… Read More »

Diplomats to Tillerson: don’t eliminate state department’s refugee office

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National security officials are arguing the elimination the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration would have ‘profound and negative implications’ Reuters in Washington The Guardian Forty former US diplomats and national security officials urged the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, not to eliminate the state department office that handles refugees, in a letter seen by Reuters on Monday. The letter argued that a Trump administration proposal to transfer the… Diplomats to Tillerson… Read More »

Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal

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TNI’s Jacob Heilbrunn just sat down with Tehran’s top diplomat—and he was not happy with the Trump administration. Mohammad Javad Zarif The National Interest Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister in an interview in New York on Monday, July 17, 2017. The following is a lightly… Jacob Heilbrunn: Yesterday you were on Fareed Zakaria’s show. And if, as you alleged, the Trump administration is indeed violating the… Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign… Read More »

Will the Americans Abandon Us?

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Our Senior Analyst for Syria Noah Bonsey visits the north east of the country to meet a Syrian Kurdish organisation that has made the region relatively secure, yet knows that it still has far to go in its… Noah Bonsey ICG QAMISHLI, Syria ­– Abd al-Menaam picks me up as usual from the customs shed on the Syrian bank of the Tigris… As we drive west toward the town of Qamishli, we pass beneath a hilltop command centre bombed by ... Read More »

Secretary of State Tillerson has been in over his head from the get-go

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We were not alone in criticizing the pick of Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state. Jennifer Rubin Miami Herald He had no government experience, no feel for human rights or the values that (should) underlie American foreign policy and no deep knowledge of the world beyond that of an oil company executive accustomed to transactional… With an experienced and sophisticated president, a Tillerson might have been effective; with President Trump, Tillerson has proven… Secretary of State… Read More »

Trump and Macron, once cast as adversaries, show they have much in common

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PARIS — For dinner on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron chose to dine with President Trump at Le Jules Verne, an opulent restaurant nestled in the Eiffel Tower that has earned a… By Jenna Johnson and James McAuley The Washington Post The extravagant meal capped off a day filled with frequent backslaps, handshakes, toothy smiles, knee pats, photo ops and a shared determination to… Up until now, the relationship between these two world leaders has been largely… Trump and Macron… Read More »

Why Can’t the U.S. Left Get Venezuela Right?

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As Venezuela’s fascist-minded oligarchy conspires with U.S. imperialism to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro, few in the… Shamus Cooke CounterPunch Instead of denouncing rightwing violence that aims at regime change, many on the U.S. left have stayed silent, or opted to give an evenhanded analysis that supports neither the Maduro government nor the oligarchy trying to… Rather, the left prioritizes its energy on lecturing on… Why Can’t the… Read More »

What is net neutrality and why should I care?

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It may not stop traffic – of either the vehicular or digital kind – but there is a huge protest taking place in the United States today and, unusually, this one is being staged by many of the… Keith Breene World Economic Forum Many of the major names on the internet including Google, Facebook and Amazon will hold virtual hands with hundreds of other sites that peddle everything from post-it notes to porn to… The mass action is expected to ... Read More »

Can Kurt Volker Solve the Ukraine Crisis?

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Kurt Volker, widely known as a tough-minded and accomplished diplomat, confronts his biggest challenge in working to implement the… Curt Mills The National Interest As Donald Trump spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Hamburg late last week, his State Department announced the appointment of a… His mandate is to help implement the Minsk agreements. Kurt Volker is widely respected as an accomplished diplomat, but in Ukraine he confronts his… Can Kurt Volker… Read More »

KKK marchers in Virginia town met by throngs of counter-protesters

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Supporters of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan marched in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8 to protest the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, who oversaw Confederate forces in the… Hurriyet The Klan marchers were met by hundreds of jeering counter-protesters in this quiet university town, where the protest by the notorious white power group was authorized by officials in… Dozens of marchers – some carrying Confederate flags, a… KKK marchers in… Read More »

US, Russia disagree over what Trump and Putin actually said to each other

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Hamburg, Germany (CNN) President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for over two hours Friday afternoon, discussing interference in US elections and ending with an… By Dan Merica and Kevin Liptak CNN But a diplomatic dust-up immediately broke out after the session when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Trump accepted Putin’s assurances there was no… The dispute only underscores the challenges that remain in the… US, Russia disagree… Read More »

These countries have the most positive influence on the world

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The idea of the United States as a “shining city upon a hill” is most closely associated with President Ronald Reagan but has been used by politicians since the… Keith Breene  World Economic Forum The founding founders wanted America to be a beacon of freedom and democracy that would light the way for the rest of the… But it seems the brightness of that light has faded of late, with a new survey showing a significant and sudden drop in ... Read More »

Top Democrat: Working with Russia on cybersecurity is akin to ‘inviting the North Koreans’ to discuss nuclear proliferation

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Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, disregarded the notion of the Trump administration establishing a bilateral “working group” with Russia to crack down on… David Choi  Business Insider “The establishment of a working group as reported by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to study how to curb cyber interference in elections in which the Russians would play any… “It tacitly adopts the fiction that the Russians are a… Top Democrat: Working… Read More »

US lawmaker wants to block F-35 sales to Turkey over embassy brawl

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WASHINGTON — A Democratic lawmaker from Rhode Island is seeking to block the U.S. sale of Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets to Turkey over an attack on protesters outside the… Joe Gould and Valerie Insinna Defense News Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has proposed the ban as an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by the House Armed… The House is expected to take up the bill and deal with amendments ... Read More »